SBC Conference: “Get The Spotlight Off The Bible” (Courtesy of Russell Moore & Andy Stanley)

According to Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen, megachurch pastor Andy Stanley would like to take the spotlight off Scripture. He makes that clear in an interview with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore.  Here’s what the popular pastor said:

I would ask preachers and pastors and student pastors in their communications to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.

And Dr. Moore didn’t indicate that he had a problem with the comment.  Ahlheim informs us that:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. (2 Tim 3:16) Photo courtesy Living Simply By Abundance

The SBC’s continued pursuit of its prevalent flavor of theology – American Christianity –   driven as it is by a seeker-sensitive model of church growth, finds its ERLC conference with one day under its belt.   The two-day conference, August 25 & 26, was coincidentally (probably not) given the theme, Onward, also the title of Russell Moore’s recent book.

The Ethics And Religious Liberty Commission conference includes a multitude of speakers, celebrity Christians, mega pastors, and even a poet. For the SBC, where doctrinal allegiance and Biblical authority are increasingly becoming mere theological terms reserved for the training halls of seminaries, it’s no surprise Scripture might be downplayed at a denominational conference.  But for it to be outright denigrated might be an ignoble first, even for the SBC.


The unfettered zeal to “engage the culture” can be interpreted, perhaps, as the convention’s superficial mantra to hide an underlying bureaucratic panic. The virulent hemorrhaging of members needs an emergency response team. Swing open the doors! Invite in the goats! Engage!  Entertain! Retain! Onward!   We don’t need no stinkin’ doctrine!

So, day one of the conference allowed us to capture this little nugget of outright denial of Biblical authority. You may not have heard it so blatantly exclaimed from a Southern Baptist pulpit, but if you’re perceptive enough, you can discern it as underlying truth that drives the methodology of many SBC churches. It’s the “it’s all about you gospel” … and you don’t need much Bible for that … cuz it ain’t in the Bible!

In playing the wildly favorite “What If You Were Pope” game with Andy Stanley, Russell Moore, President of the ERLC, posits the following question to the mega-church superstar pastor.

“If you were, for real, the evangelical pope and you really had the authority to say ‘this is how it’s gonna be within American evangelical Christianity,’ what would you do?”  Russell Moore

Moore skips right over all those Biblical commands for pastors, things like Paul’s admonition to Timothy to “Preach the word.”  (2 Timothy 4:2) He jumps right over Christ’s triply-issued instruction to Peter, “Feed my sheep.”  (John 21:15-17)   Continue reading

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